Three UFC main events in a row have raised questions about judging and the scoring system used in mixed martial arts. Dana White says something needs to be done, but he’s not the man for the job. We are.
“You should see the emails I get. You scumbag. You’re just like Don King.’ I get literally hundreds of them. It’s crazy, but that’s what people think. People think we pick (fighters) to win or lose and tell the commissions to do it. It couldn’t be further from the truth…I don’t know what to say. If everyone wants to call the (Nevada State) Athletic Commission and talk to (executive director) Keith Kizer – he’s the guy you have to ask questions to, not me. … The reality is you guys have to call Keith Kizer. Call Keith Kizer and asked him what we can to do to fix this judging and scoring. These athletic commissions need to start looking at this and figuring out what they’re going to do. It’s wrong.”
No one really seems to arguing too much about the outcome of the Ortiz-Griffin fight, which spurred Dana’s call to action, but how the rounds were actually scored and whether the 10-point must system is the appropriate method for determining who wins a mixed martial arts bout have once again become a hot topic for debate and discussion. I’ve been reading everyone’s opinions on the Ortiz-Griffin fight and the conclusion I’ve come to is no one agrees on who won the first two rounds. Some think Forrest clearly won the first and Tito the second, while others believe the exact opposite. Some even felt Tito won both rounds, which under the system means Tito won the fight or it was a draw if you score the third round a 10-8 for Forrest. Regardless of what the numbers said or should have said, Forrest Griffin deserved to have his hand raised at the end of the night, yet we were only one judge away from giving one round to Tito to watching Forrest hang his head in defeat.
It’s ridiculous, especially when we have judges who don’t understand what a submission is. I don’t know what the answer is, but I’ve always favored the PRIDE/DREAM method of scoring fights over the 10-point must system. It’s not perfect, but if my memory serves me correctly there weren’t nearly as many controversial decisions in PRIDE as we’ve seen in here in the states, though I’ll admit there’s been a few questionable ones in DREAM.
No system will ever be flawless and it will only be as good as the people sitting at the judges’ table, but it’s become clear our current system gives officials more opportunities than necessary to award the decision to the loser. Changes need to be made in both personnel and methodology, but unfortunately we’re talking about the government here. If they do something, it’s not going to happen for quite awhile.
Meanwhile, Marc Ratner attempts to talk some sense into all of us calling for reform. He says those of us arguing against the 10-point must system would have a point if it was perfect in boxing, but its not. They have plenty of controversial decisions of their own. I get what he’s saying, but he’s also highlighting the common denominator to a major problem shared by two entirely different sports. Just saying…